Senator Mary Lou Rath Kicks Off Genesee Community College / Genesee County Chamber of Commerce E-Business Initiative

The collaborative effort shared by three distinct organizations working to enhance the World Wide Web presence of businesses in Genesee County will be recognized at a reception on Friday, April 16, 2004 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM at Genesee Community College. New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath will be the guest of honor at the E-Business Initiative Reception hosted by The BEST Center of Genesee Community College and co-partner Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The other guests at the reception include representatives from 11 local businesses that were selected to participate in the E-Business Initiative project, and Entre Computer Services of Rochester, NY, the primary consultant providing training and web development expertise to the program. Attendance to the E-Business Initiative Reception is by invitation only. The event is being held in Room T119 of the Conable Technology Building and includes a light lunch.

Recently, The BEST Center, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (GCCC) and Entre Computer Services were pleased to receive a grant, administered through Empire State Development Corporation to develop two distinct E-business initiatives. With the support of Senator Rath, the $100,000 grant funded the development of a "web portal" for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. This new portal will serve as an effective platform for the web presence of area small businesses. In addition, the grant is funding the development and/or enhancement of websites of other selected Genesee County businesses whose marketing, retail, customer service, or business practices will greatly benefit from the Internet expertise provided by Entre Computer Services.

After a series of free information seminars offered in January 2004 about E-business potential, The BEST Center, GCCC, and Entre invited interested businesses to complete a written survey regarding their current level of E-business expertise and helped assess their "E-readiness." From 27 completed surveys, 11 businesses were selected to participate in the program. Each business was carefully interviewed and also asked to pay a $500 project fee to help secure its commitment to the program. The $500 is being held in escrow and will be returned to each business after project completion.

Currently, the 11 businesses are in the exploratory phase of their individual websites' development. Entre is gathering the appropriate content that will complement their marketing and business objectives, and is beginning to distill the information into a workable E-business infrastructure designed for their needs. Through the summer months, the new or enhanced websites for each organization will be deployed and follow-up business system modifications will be made. A final report will be presented to Empire State Development Corporation in October or November 2004. The business organizations involved in this initial E-Business grant include: •Angler Sport Group Ltd., Elba, NY•Attica Veterinary Associates, P.C., Attica, NY•Boshart Enterprises and Aircraft Services Inc., Batavia, NY•Empire Tractor Inc., Batavia, NY•Filomena's Bakery, Batavia, NY•Genesee Area Family YMCA, Batavia, NY•Genesee County Mental Health Association, Batavia, NY•Mancuso Commercial Realty, Batavia, NY•Oliver's Candies, Batavia, NY•RS Fabrication & Repair Inc., LeRoy, NY•United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia, NY

The success of this collaborative E-Business Initiative, which combines the resources and expertise of the private and public sectors, will not only help Genesee County firms improve their Internet presence and profits, but it is also anticipated that this E-Business incubator could become a model for other counties across New York State and perhaps the nation.

"This is an incredible opportunity for Genesee County to increase its visibility and viability in the global marketplace," Jerry A. Kozlowski, Dean of The BEST Center said. "With $13 billion in E-commerce reported in just the third quarter of 2003?we'd like to help bring some of that business home."

For further details on the E-Business Initiative, please contact Jerry A. Kozlowski, Dean of The BEST Center, 585-343-0055 ext. 6527. Related information can also be found on the following websites:•Genesee County Chamber of Commerce: http://geneseeny.com/•Entre Computer Services: http://www.entrecs.com/ebiz.html•The BEST Center:bestcenter@genesee.edu

The BEST Center, an acronym for Business and Employee Skills Training, is the workforce development division of Genesee Community College. While offering state-of-the-art conference facilities for both large meetings and small intimate groups, The BEST Center also tracks and promotes business development in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Training, workshops, seminars and consulting services are available on campus, on-location, and frequently online. Programs can be tailor-made to specific goals, and The BEST Center continuously offers a variety of seminars to enhance computer, management, leadership and industry-specific skills.

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